The Yukon River is Alaska’s largest river; a landscape of huge proportions. Canoeing the Yukon is a classic Alaska wilderness experience, full of striking scenery and rich with history. A week on the river is a timeless experience suitable for novice paddlers and seasoned explorers alike.
Last updated: August 17, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guide at a pre-trip meeting this afternoon. This ought to be a quick meeting but you’ll want to get some river specific gear for the next adventure.
Fly from Fairbanks over the Tanana uplands nearly to the Canadian border and land on the gravel airstrip in the town of Eagle. We’ll have time to tour the turn of the century town before assembling our canoes and joining the current.
We will work on refining our paddling skills and getting into the rhythm of canoeing the river. Once we are comfortable on the river, we can stop-in at fish camps and homesteads to learn about life along the river.
Our time is ours to do what we please. We can start our day by climbing the bluff behind camp to smell the sweet sage and watch hawks circle above the river. Or we can head out early and watch the glassy river slip beneath the canoe. At lunch we can follow a small creek back into the woods where we find an old cabin with a garden still producing rhubarb in the wilderness. We will travel most days and will be on the water for five to six hours each day. This schedule allows plenty of time for exploring from camp or making side trips during a leisurely lunch break. We will pass many clear water side streams that offer opportunities to fish. As we near our final destination, the river bluffs disappear and we enter an area called the Yukon Flats, a fantastically productive area for waterfowl. Here, as the river slows, the sky is broad and colorful.
We leave the main river for a smaller, willow-lined side channel. After a few miles we see the log buildings of Circle, Alaska. After disassembling our canoes and packing our gear we will load into our van for a four-hour scenic drive back to Fairbanks.
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Round-trip transportation from Fairbanks
One night lodging in Eagle
Food while in the wilderness, stoves, cooking & eating utensils
Boats, paddles, life jackets, safety & repair gear
Select Rental Equipment
Professional guide service
Lodging (except one night in Eagle)
Personal clothing and gear. See full equipment list.
Fishing gear, and fishing license
Gratuity for guide(s)
Temperatures vary dramatically in the Far North. Temperatures will range from 90 to 40. We will get some good hot weather and some windy cool weather, but generally it should be warm (by Alaska standards) This is mosquito season, and they will be a factor we plan to mollify by choosing open, breezy camps. Bring a mosquito head net and a small bottle DEET repellent for forays into the woods.